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The Moisture Festival

The annual Moisture Festival, a celebration of comedy and burlesque, ushers in springtime in Seattle. The family-friendly festival features a colorful collection of traditional European vaudeville and circus and variety acts such as aerialists, jugglers, comedians, dancers, cancan girls, musical numbers and others not so easily described.

"All of us involved with this festival are proud to work together to bring these weird and wonderful acts to Seattle audiences," said Ron W. Bailey, Moisture Festival president. "There is a great chemistry between the variety artists, the tech crews and the volunteers that always leads to a fantastic springtime gathering, really entertaining shows, and a sweet addition to Seattle's cultural fun."

In 2011, the festival celebrated its eighth year. The three-and-a-half-week run took place in March and April and featured 55 shows with more than 200 artists at four Seattle venues—Hale's Palladium, Georgetown Ballroom, ACT Theatre and SIFF Cinema—and Open Space for Arts & Community on Vashon Island. A team of more than 150 volunteers filled over 1,000 shifts.

While the festival's venues change each year, its roots are in Fremont, a neighborhood known for its artistically eccentric community. Organizers drew inspiration from a similar showcase of acts in Berlin and the offbeat artists featured at the Oregon Country Fair.

The Moisture Festival received funding through the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs' Neighborhood & Community Arts program, which invested in 39 events in 2011. The program provides $1,200 awards to help wideranging groups produce recurring festivals or events that promote arts and cultural participation and build community.